A Quantitative Analysis of the Differing Perceptions of Geography by Visually and Non-Visually Impaired Students




Murr, Christopher D.

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The Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education


Visually impaired students encounter numerous challenges to learning and using geography due to its highly spatial nature. While research is being conducted in areas such as technology to improve access, not much is known as to the degree to which visually impaired and non-visually impaired populations differently perceive their ability to engage successfully in geography course and major work. Such an understanding is essential to identifying and overcoming barriers to the effective conveyance of geographic knowledge to this special needs population. This study using the Mann-Whitney test demonstrates that there is a statistically significant difference between sight and non-sight impaired students' (matriculated at North American colleges and universities) perceived abilities to be successful in the study of geography relative to other visual and non-visual disciplines. The data support a lack of perceived success and thus, likely engagement among the visually impaired in collegiate geography. Such a scenario poses a challenge to the discipline in terms of ensuring diverse thought and solutions regarding the world's geospatial problems.



geography, learning, visually impaired, geography education


Murr, C.D. (2010). A quantitative analysis of the differing perceptions of geography by visually and non-visually impaired students. Research in Geographic Education, 12(2), pp. 45-60.


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